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Fall Prevention for Older Adults

Check your risk for falling with the Staying Independent Checklist.

Which exercise program is best for me? [PDF]

Better Strength, Better Balance! Exercise Program

Frequently Asked Questions

Woman holding hand weights

Better Strength, Better Balance! is a fall prevention exercise and education program for people aged 65+. It is funded by Champlain Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) through Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre, and is a collaborative effort between Ottawa Public Health and Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services.

This is a beginner level program for those wishing to improve their strength and balance. Strong muscles, strong bones and better balance will make you more mobile and less likely to fall.

You are strong enough to participate safely if you can do ALL of the following:

  • stand on one foot for 2 seconds
  • stand for 20 minutes (e.g. in a grocery line)
  • walk one block (100 metres or 325 feet) without becoming out of breath and needing to sit down
  • walk up 10 stairs

Better Strength, Better Balance! classes are unsuitable for people who are very active.

Participants attend class twice a week for 12 weeks.

  • Classes are progressive, becoming increasingly difficult over the 12 weeks.
  • Participants practice exercises at home and review the provided health information related to preventing falls.
  • A variety of simple equipment is used, including bean bags, cones, stretch bands, and balls.

The program is offered in the winter, spring and fall

  • January 9 to March 31, 2017
  • April 3 to June 23, 2017
  • September 18 to December 8, 2017

First time participants can register for the next available session at any time. Call Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744 (TTY: 613-580-9656).

Returning participants can register on or after these dates:

  • Winter 2017 registration begins November 14, 2016 starting at 8:30 am
  • Spring 2017 registration begins February 27, 2017 starting at 8:30 am​

To register or for more information please call Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744 (TTY: 613-580-9656).

Learn more about staying active as you age.

Download a poster [ PDF - 278.72 KB ] and help promote the Better Strength, Better Balance Exercise Program in your community!

NEW
Better Strength, Better Balance! fall prevention exercise and education program now on Rogers TV 22.

  • Monday to Friday at 2:30 pm
  • Saturday at 8:30 am

Dates and times subject to change. Check the Rogers 22 program schedule for airing dates and times.

Schedule

Central West East South

Central

Location

Address

Start
Date

Day and Time

OC Transpo
Bus Routes

Alexander Community Centre
Main Hall/Gym

960 Silver St, Ottawa

Jan 10

Tuesday and Thursday
9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

Registration Full

 176

Alexander Community Centre
Main Hall/Gym

960 Silver St, Ottawa Jan 10

Tuesday and Thursday
10:45 to 11:45 a.m.

Registration Full

176 

Routhier Community Centre
(This class is presented in French)

172 Guigues Ave, Ottawa Jan 11 Wednesday and Friday
1 to 2 pm 

Routhier Community Centre

172 Guigues Ave, Ottawa

Jan 11 Wednesday and Friday
2 to 3 pm

Fisher Heights Community Place 

 31 Sutton Place, Nepean Jan 11

Wednesday and Friday
1:15 to 2:15 p.m.

Registration Full

118 

Fisher Heights Community Place

 31 Sutton Place, Nepean Jan 11

Wednesday and Friday
2:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Registration Full​

118 

McNabb Community Centre 
Fitness Studio

180 Percy St., Ottawa

Jan 9

Monday and Wednesday
11:30 to 12:30 p.m.

Registration Full

14, 85 

McNabb Community Centre 
Fitness Studio

180 Percy St., Ottawa

Jan 9

Monday and Wednesday
12:30 to 1:30 pm

 Registration Full

 

Richelieu-Vanier Community Centre
Workshop 5 
(This class is presented in French)

300 Des Pères-Blancs, Ottawa

Jan 10

Tuesday and Thursday
1 to 2 p.m.

Registration Full

 5

Richelieu-Vanier Community Centre
Workshop 5

300 Des Pères-Blancs, Ottawa

Jan 10

Tuesday and Thursday
2 to 3 p.m.

Registration Full

 5

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West

Location

Address

Start
Date

Day and Time

OCTranspo
Bus Routes

West Carleton Community Complex
Roly Armitage Hall

5670 Carp Rd, Kinburn

Jan 10

Tuesday and Thursday
9:15 to 10:15 a.m.

 

Kanata Recreation Complex, Program Room

100 Charlie Rogers Pl, Kanata

Jan 10

Tuesday and Thursday
9 to 10 a.m.

Registration Full

118

Kanata Recreation Complex, Program Room

100 Charlie Rogers Pl, Kanata

Jan 10

Tuesday and Thursday
10 to 11 a.m.

Registration Full

118

Michele Heights Community Centre, Gym

2955 Michele Dr, Ottawa

Jan 10

Tuesday and Thursday
9 to 10 a.m.

Registration Full

85, 2, 97, 172

Michele Heights Community Centre, Gym

2955 Michele Dr, Ottawa

Jan 10

Tuesday and Thursday
10:15 to 11:15 a.m.

Registration Full

85, 2, 97, 172

Goulbourn Town Hall

2135 Huntley Rd, Stittsville

Jan 9

Monday and Wednesday
11 a.m. to noon

Registration Full

 

Richmond Arena, Upstairs

6095 Perth St., Richmond

Jan 9

Monday and Wednesday
1 to 2 p.m.

Registration Full

 

Richmond Arena, Upstairs

6095 Perth St., Richmond

Jan 9

Monday and Wednesday
2 to 3 p.m.

Registration Full

 

Carp Memorial Hall

3739 Carp Road

Jan 10

Tuesday and Thursday
12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Registration Full

 

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East

Location

Address

Start
Date

Day and Time

OCTranspo
Bus Routes

Blackburn Hamlet Community Hall

190 Glen Park Dr, Gloucester

Jan 9 

Monday and Friday
2:20 to 3:20 p.m.

Registration Full

94, 128

Blackburn Hamlet Community Hall

190 Glen Park Dr, Gloucester

Jan 9

Monday and Friday
3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Registration Full

94, 128

Pat Clark Community Centre

(formerly Cyrville Community Centre)  

4355 Halmont Dr, Ottawa

Jan 9

Monday and Wednesday
10 to 11 a.m.

Registration Full

127, 129

Pat Clark Community Centre

(formerly Cyrville Community Centre)  

4355 Halmont Dr, Ottawa

Jan 9

Monday and Wednesday
11 a.m. to noon

Registration Full

127, 129

Dempsey Community Centre, Room 1

1895 Russell Rd, Ottawa

Jan 9

Monday and Wednesday
9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

Registration Full

86

Fred Barrett Arena, Hall

3280 Leitrim Rd, Gloucester

Jan 9

Monday and Wednesday
1:15 to 2:15 p.m.

Registration Full

144

Navan Memorial Community Centre, Hall 

1295 Colonial Dr, Navan

Jan 9

Monday: 12 to 1 p.m.
Thursday: 11 a.m. to noon

Registration Full

 

R.J. Kennedy Memorial Community Centre,
Hall A & B 

1115 Dunning Rd, Cumberland

Jan 9

Monday and Friday
9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

Registration Full

 

South Fallingbrook Community Centre Hall A
(This class is presented in French)

998 Valin St, Orleans

Jan 9

Monday and Friday
9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

Registration Full

94, 122

South Fallingbrook Community Centre
Hall A

998 Valin St, Orleans

Jan 9

Monday and Friday
10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Registration Full

94, 122

Queenswood Heights Community Centre

1485 Duford Dr, Orleans

Jan 10

Tuesday and Friday
10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Registration Full

 

Queenswood Heights Community Centre
(This class is presented in French)

1485 Duford Dr, Orleans

Jan 10

Tuesday and Friday
11:30 to 12:30 p.m.

Registration Full

 

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South

Location

Address

Start
Date

Day and Time

OCTranspo
Bus Routes

Albion Heatherington Community Centre, Gym

1560 Heatherington Rd, Ottawa

Jan 10  

Tuesday and Thursday
10:15 to 11:15 a.m.

Registration Full

8, 41 Express

Chapman Mills Community Building, Main Hall

424 Chapman Mills Dr, Ottawa

Jan 9

Monday and Thursday
12:45 to 1:45 p.m.

Registration Full

99

Chapman Mills Community Building, Main Hall

424 Chapman Mills Dr, Ottawa

Jan 9

Monday and Thursday
2 to 3 p.m.

Registration Full

99

Greely Community Centre, Hall B

1448 Meadow Dr, Greely

Jan 10

Tuesday and Thursday
2 to 3 p.m.

 

Rideauview Community Centre

4310 Shoreline Dr, Gloucester

Jan 10

Tuesday and Thursday
12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Registration Full

99

Rideauview Community Centre

4310 Shoreline Dr, Gloucester

Jan 10

Tuesday and Thursday
1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

99

Sawmill Creek Pool and Community Centre

3380 D'Aoust Ave, Gloucester

Jan 10

Tuesday and Thursday
1 to 2 p.m.

Registration Full

40

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who should register?

Attendance requirement

Age requirement

Registration process

Program locations and transportation

Other physical activity options 

Who should register?

Better Strength, Better Balance! is available to older adults aged 65+. It is not appropriate for people who are extremely active, or for those who have a hard time walking or standing for long periods.  

How do I know if I am strong enough to participate safely?

You are likely strong enough if you can do ALL of the following:

  • stand on one foot for 2 seconds
  • stand for 20 minutes (e.g. in a grocery line)
  • walk one block (100 metres or 325 feet) without becoming out of breath and needing to sit down
  • walk up 10 stairs

I use a cane and occasionally use a walker. Can I register?

Call Ottawa Public Health to discuss your situation. You might not be strong enough to participate.

I rely on a walker/scooter/wheelchair most of the time to get around. Can I join the class?

It is not safe for you to participate in this program. Call Ottawa Public Health to find out about other programs that will better meet your needs.

I am very active, have always participated in sports, and regularly go to the gym. Will this class be too easy for me?

Yes. You will likely find that this class is not challenging enough. If you have problems with your balance, however, you should consider registering.

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Attendance requirement

Why am I encouraged to attend at least 80% of the classes?

This is a progressive class to increase your strength and balance. Regular attendance will allow you to achieve the health benefits, and reduce your chance of falling. It is recommended that older adults participate in 150 minutes of aerobic physical activity every week, in addition to strength and balance activities.

Commitment is also important because this program is offered with limited public funds and there is a cancellation list for those who would like the opportunity to join.

I am going on holiday for three weeks. Can I still register?

As the classes are progressive, missing a block of time is not recommended. Consider joining the next session. The program is offered in the winter, spring and fall. 

I may be missing a class (or a few classes) because I am sick or have an appointment. Who do I call?

You do not need to call anyone if you are missing a class.

I am no longer able to participate in the program. Who do I call?

Call Ottawa Public Health to withdraw from the program.  

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Age requirement

I am under 65 years old. Can I register?

This program is for adults 65 years or older the day the course begins.  

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Registration process

What number do I call to register?

Call Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744.

Can I just show up and attend these classes, since there is no charge?

No. You must register to attend. Please do not show up for class unless you are registered. This is not a drop-in program. 

Can I register online for this program?

Online registration is not available for this program. The only way to register is by calling Ottawa Public Health.

I have taken this program before and want to take it again. Can I?

Yes, if you still need it. This is an entry level program. As your strength and balance improves, you are encouraged to eventually progress to other exercise programs for older adults, which will benefit you.

Please see the section “Other Physical Activity Options

I called and left a message with Ottawa Public Health after registration opened. Am I registered?

No. Someone will call you back within two or three business days to register you. This program is very popular, and phone lines are very busy during the first week of registration. If you leave a message, you will hear back from Ottawa Public Health. Please do not leave more than one message.

Should I visit my doctor before I go to my first class?

Complete the Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR Q+). This self-assessment will direct you to your doctor if needed. The PAR Q+ is also mailed to you with your registration confirmation. There is no need to bring your completed PAR Q+ form to class.

What do I need to bring to class?

Bring a water bottle. Wear comfortable, loose clothing and non-marking soled running shoes.  

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Program locations and transportation

Why is there no class near where I live?

This program has limited funding. Classes are located throughout the city, but unfortunately they are not available in every neighbourhood.

I have registered for a class, but do not know how to get there. Can you help? 

Most program locations are accessible by OC Transpo. Ottawa Public Health can tell you which bus stops closest to your class. If you require more detailed information about bus routes, call OC Transpo at Access OC Hotline at 613-842-3625 (TTY: 613-741-5280) or plan your trip using the OC Transpo Travel Planner.  

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Other physical activity options

What are some other exercise programs for older adults in Ottawa?

There are many opportunities to be physically active in your neighbourhood. Programs are offered through the City of Ottawa, community centres and fitness centres.

For those who qualify, fee subsidies are available for some programs offered through the City of Ottawa.

If you are not strong enough to participate in the Better Strength, Better Balance! program, please call  Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744 or visit the Champlain Healthline website to explore safer options. 

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Facts on Falls & Tips for Preventing Falls

Did you know?

  • According to the Burden of Injury (2010), one in four people over the age of 65 will fall at least once each year, a rate that increases to one in two people over the age of 80.
  • Approximately 70 Ottawa residents die each year due to falls, and in 2005, falls were the leading cause of injury, hospitalization, and death among Ottawa older adults.
  • It is estimated that there are 20,000 annual visits to Ottawa emergency rooms related to falls, most of which involve older adults (Burden of Injury, 2010)
  • Even when they do not require ER visits or hospitalizations, falls can have a lasting impact on older adults’ independence and quality of life, leading to a decline in health and function. This may in turn lead to future falls with more serious outcomes, and additional health care costs.

Older Adults Falls Prevention Survey:

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is proud to share the results of the Older Adults Falls Prevention Survey. The telephone survey was conducted by Nanos Research on behalf of OPH in 2012. Topic-specific full reports and summary infographics can be found on our website at www.ottawa.ca/healthreports.

What you can do to prevent falls:

  • Regular exercise can significantly prevent falls. Take part in at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of aerobic physical activity every week. Minutes count – be active in blocks of 10 minutes at a time and do strength and balance activities like lifting weights and Tai chi at least twice a week. For programs offered in Ottawa call Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744, TTY: 613-580-9656, toll free at 1-866-426-8885, e-mail at healthsante@ottawa.ca or visit ottawa.ca/health.
  • If you have mobility or balance issues, consider using an assistive device. Using a properly measured cane or a walker will help you to be more confident, active and independent while providing an excellent tool for balance. The use of secure handrails on stairs and grab bars in the bathroom will help you move around your house safely.
  • Have your eyes checked every year for changes in their health and vision. A yearly eye exam can mean the difference between good vision and vision loss.
  • Have a regular health exam with your doctor or nurse practitioner every year and report any falls. Review your medication with your doctor or pharmacist at least once a year or when you start new medication. This can reduce side effects and drug interactions. Ask your pharmacist about the Meds Check program.
  • Talk to your health care provider about your concerns, fear of falling or previous falls including slips and trips.
  • Eat regular meals with food from all 4 food groups for good health and energy. Have at least 3 servings of food high in calcium every day. Health Canada recommends a daily Vitamin D supplement of 400 IU if you are over 50 years of age. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about a Vitamin D supplement.
  • Having a safer home will also reduce your risk of falling. Here are some tips in order to have a safer home:
    • Keep your home well lit and free of trip hazards
    • Remove scatter rugs and loose carpets
    • Add secure grab bars in bathroom
    • Install sturdy handrails that extend to the bottom on both sides of your stairs

Taking an active role in preventing falls will keep you independent and improve quality of life for yourself or someone you love.

Take care of your health in three easy steps!

Step 1: Prepare for your annual visit with your family doctor.

Take a few minutes to think about your appointment before you get there. Remember to bring a list of:

Medications you are taking

  • Appointments with other health professionals
  • Tests or procedures done since your last appointment
  • Symptoms or concerns
  • Questions you may have for your doctor

Step 2: Review your medications with your doctor or pharmacist every year.

  • Know the facts about your medication.  What is the medication for?  What are the possible side effects? 
  • Review the correct way to take your medication and how to store it.
  • Let your doctor or pharmacist know if you are taking other over-the-counter medications, herbal remedies, vitamins or supplements.

Step 3: Have an annual eye exam.

If you are 65 years of age, the most important thing you can do to protect your vision is to have an eye exam every year. Finding problems early can make the difference between vision change and vision loss.

Did you know?

It's time for a medication cleanout:

Collect your expired, leftover, unlabelled, “just-in-case” pills, vitamins, herbals, ointments and liquids and return them to your nearest pharmacy. They will be disposed of safely.

Medication shouldn't be confusing:

MedsCheck is a free, 20-minute appointment with your pharmacist to review your medications. This meeting can help you better understand your medications.

Call 1-866-255-6701 or TTY 1-800-387-5559 or visit Ontario.ca/medscheck for more information.

For more information call 613-580-6744 to speak with our public health staff or e-mail us at healthsante@ottawa.ca

Print version [1.5 MB]

Keeping your bones healthy

Calcium and vitamin D are good for your bones and more...

  • Calcium helps your heart, muscles and nerves work properly.
  • Your body needs vitamin D to absorb and use calcium.

Get your calcium from food

  • Try to eat at least 3 servings of foods high in calcium every day.
  • Calcium is more enjoyable and more easily absorbed from food than from a supplement (pill).
  • You may need a supplement if you do not eat at least 3 servings of foods high in calcium a day.
  • Talk to your health care provider before taking a calcium supplement. It should not be taken with certain medications. Getting too much calcium can cause health problems like constipation and kidney stones.

Take a vitamin D supplement of 400 IU every day, if you are over 50

  • You also need to eat foods that contain vitamin D.
  • Vitamin D is not naturally found in many foods but it is in fatty fish, egg yolk and liver. That’s why vitamin D is added to some foods like cow’s milk, some orange juice, soy, almond or rice beverages, and margarine.
  • If you don’t eat enough good quality sources of vitamin D, you may need a stronger supplement. Talk to your health care provider about it.

Something you can do...

  • Read labels to find good sources of calcium and vitamin D.
  • Add skim milk powder or evaporated milk to your recipes.
  • Try margarine on your toast and in recipes for added vitamin D.
  • Replace a coffee or tea with a latte or hot chocolate for extra calcium and vitamin D. 

Print version [167 KB]

Mission Healthy Bones!

Calcium and vitamin D are important for strong bones and teeth!

How much do you need?

Age
(years)

Calcium
(mg per day)

Vitamin D
(IU per day)

51 to 70

1200

600

71 and +

1200

800

51 to 70

1000

600

71 and +

1200

800

How do you do this?
  • Try to get at least 3 good sources of calcium and vitamin D rich foods each day.
  • Check the list below for good sources of calcium and vitamin D.
  • Complete your diet by taking a daily 400 IU vitamin D supplement.
  • Talk to your health care provider about supplementation if you think your diet may not be rich enough in calcium and/or vitamin D.

Grain products

  • Usually not a great source of vitamin D. 
  • Cereals eaten with milk or fortified beverage will have extra calcium and
    vitamin D.
  • A few cereals are now enriched with vitamin D, so check the label.
  • Using margarine with a grain product will increase vitamin D.
Food ItemCalcium (mg)Vitamin D (IU)
Some vitamin D fortified cereals - 1 serving with 125 mL (1/2 cup)  1%  milk160-350100
Breakfast cereals - 1 serving with 125 mL (1/2 cup)  1% milk160-35050
Whole wheat toast - 2 slices900
With margarine - 5 mL (1 tsp)9025
With butter - 5 mL (1 tsp)901

Milk and alternatives

  • All cow’s milk is fortified with vitamin D and is a natural source of calcium. 
    Some beverages (soy, almond, rice) can be fortified with calcium and vitamin D.  Check the label.
  • Foods made with cow’s milk may not be fortified with vitamin D (yogurt, cheese, buttermilk).  Check the label. 
Food ItemCalcium (mg)Vitamin D (IU)
Evaporated skim milk-reconstituted - 250 mL (1 cup)392116
1% milk (cow)- white or chocolate - 250 mL (1 cup)320100
Skim milk powder - 25 g ( 1/3 cup) will make 250 mL (1 cup) of milk320100
Eggnog - 250 mL (1 cup)35044
Fortified soy, almond or rice beverages - 250 mL (1 cup)32090
Yogurt, fortified - 175 mL (¾ cup)30080
Cheese - firm (Cheddar, Swiss, Gouda) - 25 g (2,5 oz)3603
Kefir - 175 mL (3/4 cup)1878

Vegetables and fruit

  • Most vegetables and fruits are not a significant source of calcium and vitamin D unless fortified.
  • A few exceptions are listed below.
Food ItemCalcium (mg)Vitamin D (IU)
Fortified orange juice - 125 mL  (½ cup)15550
Collards- frozen and cooked - 125 mL (1/2 cup)1890
Spinach- frozen and cooked -125 mL (1/2 cup)1540

Meat and alternatives

  • The more fatty the fish, the more vitamin D you get. 
  • Canned fish with bones adds extra calcium, as long as you eat the bones! 
Food ItemCalcium (mg)Vitamin D (IU)
Salmon - canned with bones - 75 g (2,5 oz)179200-699*
             - baked, grilled, pan fried - 75 g (2,5 oz)5200-699*
Mackerel - canned - 75 g (2,5 oz)181218
Sardines - canned with oil -75 g (2,5 oz)28670
Herring pickled - 75 g (2,5 oz)60200
Herring - Atlantic, cooked - 75 g (2,5 oz)56160
Trout - baked, grilled, pan fried - 75 g (2,5 oz)41150
Whitefish, lake - cooked - 75 g (2,5 oz)12135
Eggs yolks - 24432
Light tuna - canned tuna - 75 g (2,5 oz)840
Beef liver - pan fried - 75 g (2,5 oz)436
Almonds - 60 mL (¼ cup )990
Almond butter - 30 mL (2 tbsp)900
Baked beans - canned-185 mL (¾ cup)640

*Amount of vitamin D varies with the type of salmon. Sockeye has the most.

Miscellaneous (mixed ingredients)

  • Adding calcium and vitamin D rich ingredients to your favorite food is a great way to get more of these nutrients! 
Food ItemCalcium (mg)Vitamin D (IU)
Fruit smoothie - made with 125 mL (½ cup) of milk,  125 mL fortified orange juice and 125 mL yogurt)500140
Grilled cheese sandwich43435
Instant breakfast - 250 mL (1 cup) made with milk or fortified beverage36390
Café Latte, made with 250 mL (1 cup) milk320100
Black coffee or tea00
Salmon salad sandwich220150
Prepared canned tomato soup (with milk) - 250 mL (1 cup)20050
Pudding made with milk or fortified beverage - 125 mL (1/2 cup)14152
Blackstrap molasses - 15 mL (1 tbsp)1800
Margarine - 5 mL (1 tsp)125

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Reference: Canadian Nutrient File 2010

For more information call 613-580-6744 to speak with our public health staff or e-mail us at healthsante@ottawa.ca 

Recipes for foods high in calcium

Be Active (Fruity Flax Smoothies for Two)
Get Ready for Your Check-Up (Tofu Stir Fry for Two)
Focus on Your Eyes (Quick Macaroni and Cheese)
Eating for Healthy Bones (Salmon Burgers)
Be Medication Wise (Cream of cauliflower and parsnip soup)
Make Your Home Safe (Chocolate Pudding)

 Be Active

  • Take part in at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of aerobic physical activity every week.
  • Minutes count — be active in blocks of 10 minutes at a time.
  • Do strength and balance activities like lifting weights and Tai chi at least twice a week.

Fruity Flax Smoothies for Two

Serves: 2

 Imperial measurement

Ingredient

Metric measurement

2 tbsp

flax seeds, ground

30 mL

1 cup

fresh or frozen fruit

250 mL

1

fresh or frozen banana

1

1/2 cup

pineapple with juices, optional

125 mL

1 cup

milk or fortified soy or rice milk

250 mL

3/4 cup

low-fat yogurt
ice cubes, optional

175 mL

Instructions:
  • Add all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Pour and enjoy!
Nutrition Information:

Per serving: 300 calories, 5 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 56 mg cholesterol, 110 mg sodium, 56 g carbohydrate, 6 g fibre, 40 g sugars, 10 g protein, 15% DV vitamin A, 70% DV vitamin C, 30% DV calcium, 50% DV vitamin D.

Print format: Be Active (Fruity Flax Smoothies for Two) [ PDF 104.9 KB ] 

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 Get Ready for Your Check-Up

  • Have a regular check-up with your doctor or nurse practitioner.
  • Before you go, make a list of the questions you want to ask.
  • Bring your medications and any tests or procedures from specialists you have seen.
  • Before you leave, go over what you’ve discussed. Take notes if needed.

Tofu Stir Fry for Two

Serves: 2

Imperial measurement

Ingredient

Metric measurement

1

package of firm tofu, cubed

1

1 tbsp

low sodium soy sauce

15 mL

1/2 tsp

cornstarch

2 mL

1 tsp

sesame oil (optional)

5 mL

1

garlic clove, minced

1

1/4 tsp

pepper

1 mL

1 tsp

fresh ginger, finely chopped

5 mL

3 cups

vegetables, thinly sliced or chopped

750 mL

1 tbsp

vegetable oil

15 mL

1 cup

whole wheat noodles or brown rice, cooked and hot

250 mL

 Instructions:

  • In small bowl stir together soy sauce, cornstarch, sesame oil (if using), garlic, salt, pepper, ginger. Set aside.
  • Wash and chop or slice all vegetables. Set aside.
  • Heat oil or broth in large skillet or wok. Stir in vegetables that take longer to cook (for example, carrots, celery, onions). Cook and stir over high heat until vegetables begin to soften.
  • Stir in quick cooking vegetables (for example, snow peas, bean sprouts) and tofu. Cook and stir until all vegetables are crisp and tender.
  • Add the reserved soy sauce mixture to the vegetables and stir until the sauce thickens.
  • Spoon mixture over hot cooked brown rice or whole wheat noodles.
Nutrition Information:

Per serving: 490 calories, 18 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 450 mg sodium, 55 g carbohydrate, 7 g fibre, 1 g sugars, 24 g protein, 45% DV vitamin A, 15% DV vitamin C, 35% DV calcium, 0% DV vitamin D.

Adapted from “Pam Cooks - Favourite Recipes from the Trillium Cooking School”.

Print format: Get Ready for Your Check-Up (Tofu Stir Fry for Two) [ 111.89 KB ]  

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 Focus on Your Eyes

  • Have your eyes checked every year for changes in their health and vision.
  • Keep your home well lit, especially entrances and stairways.
  • Be careful on the stairs and curbs if you wear multifocal lenses.
  • Give your eyes time to adjust when you move from dark to much brighter areas.

Quick Macaroni and Cheese

Serves: 3

Metric measurement

Ingredient

Imperial measurement

1 cup

elbow macaroni, uncooked

250 mL

2 tbsp

margarine

30 mL

2 tbsp

flour

30 mL

1/4 tsp

dry mustard

1 mL

1 cup

milk

250 mL

1 cup

grated cheddar cheese

250 mL

dash

pepper

dash 

Instructions:
  • Cook macaroni in boiling water for 10 minutes, stirring several times. Drain and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, melt margarine in a medium saucepan. Stir in flour and mustard. Add milk slowly, stirring all the time. Cook and stir until mixture boils and thickens.
  • Turn stove to low heat. Add cheese and stir until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth.
  • Add drained macaroni. Mix gently. Stir over low heat until mixture is hot. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Nutrition information:

Per serving: 400 calories, 21 g fat, 9 g saturated fat, 0.5 g trans fat, 40 mg cholesterol, 418 mg sodium, 35 g carbohydrate, 1 g fibre, 5 g sugars, 15 g protein, 15% DV vitamin A, 0% DV vitamin C, 35% DV calcium, 17% DV vitamin D.

Recipe adapted from The Basic Shelf Cookbook, First Edition 1994 with permission of the Canadian Public Health Agency.

Print format: Focus on Your Eyes (Quick Macaroni and Cheese) [ 109.92 KB ]  

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 Eating for Healthy Bones

  • Eat at least 3 servings of foods high in calcium every day.
  • Calcium works with Vitamin D to keep your bones strong.
  • Take a daily Vitamin D supplement of 400 IU if you are over 50.

Salmon Burgers

Serves: 4

Metric measurement

Ingredient

Imperial measurement

7 1/2 oz

canned salmon, drained and flaked

225 g

3/4 cup

low sodium bread crumbs

175 mL

1/4 cup

celery, finely chopped

60 mL

1 tbsp

onion, finely chopped

15 mL

2 tbsp

milk

30 mL

1

egg

1

1 tbsp

lemon juice

15 mL

1 tbsp

parsley or dill, minced

15 mL

1/4 tsp

salt

1 mL

dash

pepper or paprika

dash

4

whole wheat hamburger buns, split

4

Instructions:

  • Combine all ingredients except buns and topping in bowl. Mix well.
  • Divide mixture into 4 equal portions. Shape each portion into a patty.
  • Cook in non-stick skillet over medium heat until patties are nicely browned and firm to the touch, about 5 minutes per side.
  • Serve in buns, garnished to taste.

Toppings: choose from lettuce, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, mayonnaise, etc.

Nutrition Information:

Permission to reproduce this recipe was given by Pam Collacott, Trillium Cooking School 2010.

Print format: Eating for Healthy Bones (Salmon Burgers) [ 132.91 KB ]  

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 Be Medication Wise

  • Review your medications with your doctor or pharmacist every year.
  • Take your medications as prescribed.
  • Keep a list of all medications you take including vitamins, over-the-counter drugs, and herbal products.
  • Use the same pharmacy for all your prescriptions.

Cream of cauliflower and parsnip soup

Serves: 4

Imperial measurement

Ingredient

Metric measurement

1

large onion, chopped

1

1 tbsp

margarine

15 mL

2 cups

chicken broth (low sodium)

500 mL

2 cups

water

500 mL

1 large

cauliflower, cut in pieces

1

2

parsnips, peeled and cut

2

1 1/4 cups

milk

300 mL

¼ tsp

nutmeg

2 mL

¼ tsp

black pepper

2 mL

½ cup

cheddar cheese, grated

125 mL

¼ cup

chopped parsley

60 mL

dash

paprika (as garnish)

dash

Instructions:

  • Prepare all ingredients.
  • In a medium saucepan, sauté the onion in margarine until soft.
  • Add broth and water, cauliflower and parsnips. Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pot and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Remove the soup from the heat and let it cool until it is warm.
  • Transfer the soup to a blender or purée the vegetables in the soup with a hand potato masher until smooth.
  • Adjust seasoning if necessary. You may add milk if soup is too thick.
  • Sprinkle with parsley, a pinch of paprika and top with 2 tbsp of grated cheese.
Nutrition information:

Per serving: 210 calories, 9 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 0.2 g trans fat, 20 mg cholesterol, 680 mg sodium, 25 g carbohydrate, 5 g fibre, 11 g sugars, 11 g protein, 20% DV vitamin A, 100% DV vitamin C, 30% DV calcium, 26% DV vitamin D.

Print format: Be Medication Wise (Cream of cauliflower and parsnip soup) [ 113.22 KB ]   

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Make Your Home Safe

  • Keep your home well lit and free of trip hazards.
  • Remove scatter rugs and loose carpets.
  • Add secure grab bars in bathrooms.
  • Install sturdy handrails that extend to the bottom on both sides of your stairs.

Chocolate Pudding

Serves: 4 to 6

Imperial measurement

Ingredient

Metric measurement

1/3 cup (60 g)

semi-sweet chocolate chips

80 mL

1/4 cup

cocoa powder

60 mL

½ cup

sugar

125 mL

3 tbsp

cornstarch

45 mL

2 cups

1% milk

500 mL

2 tsp

vanilla extract

10 mL

pinch

salt

pinch

Instructions:

  • Microwave chocolate chips at low-medium until just melted. Add cocoa powder to melted chocolate and stir to make a paste.
  • In a medium saucepan, add milk and bring to near boiling on medium heat. Reduce heat. Add the chocolate paste to the milk mixture and stir gently to combine.
  • Measure sugar and cornstarch and put into a small bowl. Stir well together. Gradually stir the sugar/cornstarch mixture into the hot chocolate/milk mixture.
  • Cook and stir until thickened (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat.
  • Add vanilla and stir well.
  • Pour into dessert serving dishes and refrigerate about 4 hours before serving.
Nutrition information:

Per serving: 260 calories, 6 g fat, 3.5 g of saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 6 mg cholesterol, 125 mg sodium, 50 mg carbohydrate, 3 g fibre, 40 g sugars, 6 g protein, 4% DV vitamin A, 0% DV vitamin C, 15% DV calcium, 30% DV vitamin D.

Adapted from Chatelaine Magazine Website.

Print format: Make Your Home Safe (Chocolate Pudding) [ 106.1 KB ] 

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Safety in your home

Entrance
Bedroom
Bathroom
Stairs
Personal Habits

Throughout your home ensure that:

  • Floors are not slippery.
  • Pathways are clear of extension cords and other objects.
  • Rugs have no ripples or tears.
  • Scatter mats are removed or taped to the floor.
  • Low tables are removed from the middle of the living room.
  • All furniture is sturdy.
  • Chairs have armrests and are the correct height.
  • All light fixtures have a minimum of 60 watt bulbs.
  • Entrance to every room has a light switch.
  • Stepladder or step stool is sturdy, and the step surface is not slippery.
  • Items used every day are stored within easy reach.

Entrance

  • Doors open easily.
  • There is a sturdy seat with arm rests.
  • Mail is within easy reach.
  • Exterior and interior lighting is good.
  • Outside pathways are free of lawn furniture, hoses and other objects.

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Bedroom

  • A telephone is easily reached from the bed.
  • A lamp is easily reached from the bed.
  • The bed is the correct height.

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Bathroom

  • Bath-tub plug is easy to reach, and to use.
  • A rubber mat is used for every bath or shower, or.
  • Anti-slip decals on the bottom of the bath-tub are no more than 2" apart.
  • There are at least two grab bars in the tub area
  • Portable grab bars (on the side of the tub) do not move when used for support.
  • Rug outside the bathtub has a rubber backing.

If you have problems getting into or out of the bath-tub, use:

  • a bath seat.
  • a hand held shower.

If you have problems sitting on or getting up from the toilet, use:

  • a raised toilet seat.
  • a grab bar conveniently located.

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Stairs (inside and outside)

  • Stair edges are marked with contrasting colour.
  • All steps are the same height.
  • All steps are the same depth.
  • Stairs have a non-slip surface.
  • Handrails are present on both sides of stairs.
  • Handrail height feels comfortable when used for support.
  • Handrails extends 12 inches beyond the top and bottom steps.
  • Handrails are round.

Stairway safety checklist and recommendations

Here’s a form that will help you do a quick check. The more times you answer ”Done”, the better. Some “To do” answers will point to changes you can make to increase safety, such as adding non-slip paint or brighter lights; some may highlight dangers that may be more difficult and costly to fix (it’s hard to change the height or depth of a step). At least being aware of the hazard may help people take more care.

Safe Stairs

Questions

Done

To do

Are the steps no more than 18 cm (7 inches) high and consistent in height?

  • When thinking of renovations, ensure steps are of consistent height.
   

Are the steps at least 28 cm (11 inches) deep and consistent in depth?

  • When thinking of renovations, ensure steps are of consistent depth.
   

Are the stairs closed at the back so your foot can’t slip through?

   

Are carpets or runners low-pile?

  • Avoid visually distracting patterns.
   

Are carpets or runners securely fastened?

  • Repair or replace tread surfaces.
  • Covering should be glued or firmly secured.
   

Do all doors open away from the steps, not over them?

  • Reverse the door hinges so that the door opens away from the steps.
   

Does the surface of all steps have a non-slip finish?

  • Apply paint or varnish that has grit mixed in by the manufacturer on all stairs.
  • DO NOT wax stairs.
   

Stairs are maintained with no deterioration?

  • Repair as needed.
   

Stairs are free of clutter or any objects at all times?

  • Mop up spills or water immediately.
   

Stairs and pathways into the building level are clear and free of ice and snow in winter?

   
Visibility and Lighting

Questions

Done

To do

Are the edges of the stairs marked with a contrasting strip of colour (at a minimum on the top and bottom step)?

  • Use yellow or contrasting colour paint to ensure clear marking.
   

Are the stairs well lit, with at least two light switches?

  • Install a light switch at both the bottom and the top of the stairs.
   

Are the light bulbs the strongest wattage allowed in the fixtures?

  • Use at least 60 – 100 watt light bulbs.
   
Handrails

Questions

Done

To do

Is there a handrail? Are there (even safer) two handrails?

  • Handrails are firmly attached on both sides of the stairs.
   

Do the handrails extend uninterrupted the full length of the stairs?

   

Is the circumference of the handrails 16 cm (6.25 inches) or smaller?

  • Make handrails round and small enough so two-thirds of hand wraps around.
   

Are the handrails securely fastened?

  • Repair loose or broken handrails.
   

Are the handrails free from decorations during festive celebrations?

   

Adapted from Steps to Safer Stairs, Community Health Research Unit, University of Ottawa 2006

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Personal habits

  • Move slowly after lying or sitting to prevent dizziness.
  • Always wear well fitted shoes or slippers with low heels and non-slip soles.
  • Do not wear long skirts, long house coats, or loose slacks.
  • Do not use bath oil.
  • Turn on a night light before going to bed.
  • Turn on a light when getting up at night.
  • Avoid using a ladder or step stool.

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Taking Care of My Health: Falls prevention video campaign

One in four seniors fall each year.  It is estimated that there are 200,000 annual visits to Ottawa emergency rooms related to falls, most of which involve older adults (Burden of Injury, 2010). Most falls are preventable.

Ottawa Public Health’s “Taking Care of My Health” Falls Prevention video campaign was created to increase public awareness of falls in older adults and encourage healthy and safe behaviours to reduce this risk.

The following videos identify 4 key behaviours in relation to prevention falls among older adults.

Video 1: Preventing falls is easier than standing on your head

Video 2 : Prevent falls – make your home safe 

Video 3 : Eating for healthy bones

Video 4 : Report ALL falls

Video 1: Preventing falls is easier than standing on your head

Script for video 1

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Video 2 : Prevent falls – make your home safe 

Script for video 2

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Video 3 : Eating for healthy bones

Script for video 3

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Video 4 : Report ALL falls

Script for video 4

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 Video script: Preventing falls is easier than standing on your head

 Story opens on older gentleman "Bob" doing some light calisthenics at home (see Easy exercises to improve balance and leg strength! for reference)

NARRATOR (Authentic, Female)       

“Bob keeps himself fit. For flexibility…

…balance…

…and strength…to prevent a fall.  

 As Bob is working through his seniors' calisthenis, he begins to bend lower...lower...(surprisingly) lower. 

“One in four seniors will fall this year.

It’s the leading cause of serious injury for older adults.”

Bob's hands touch the ground. And then, he does something that surprises the viewer. Bob elevates into a full handstand and headstand. Music hits crescendo. 

“Preventing falls is easier than…standing on your head.

Keep it simple”

 As Bob returns to normal exercises

“Include strength and balance activities in your day”

“A message from Ottawa Public Health.”

LOGO

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Video script: Prevent falls – make your home safe

STORY OPENS IN HALLWAY OF HOME.  OLDER GENTLEMAN “BOB” WALKS THROUGH FRAME AND INTO THE LIVING ROOM. EYE GLASSES ATOP HIS HEAD. 

Story opens in hallway of home. Older gentleman "Bob" walks through the frame and into the living room; eye glasses atop his head.

Begins with quiet ambient orchestral music in the background.

NARRATOR (Authentic, Female)

“The edge of a rug, spilled tea, poor lighting or a cord.

Suddenly, Bob slips (we don't know which is the culprit). At this moment, the video goes into "extreme slow motion". Bob's eye glasses crash into the floor.

The music ramps up orchestral, similar to a song used in and Olympic figure skating routine.

That’s all it takes.”

At first, Bob appears to be falling "normally", until he begins to flip/twist in the air (in slow mo) ever so gracefully.

In fact, falls account for TWENTY THOUSAND visits to local emergency rooms every year – most involving older adults..

After a gymnastic like rotation in the air, Bob gently touches down on his feet without incident. Camera switchs back to normal speed.

The music turns from optimistic/dramatic to soft and serene.

“If only, falling was so graceful.

(Pause)

Prevent falls – make your home safe.        

A message from Ottawa Public Health.”

LOGO 

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Video script: Eating for healthy bones

 Opening shot shows a doctor walking through a waiting room. An older patient "Mary" (healthy looking, with good posture) is sitting beside a strong young male patient "Chad" (wearing a sleeveless shirt showing muscles)

Doctor to nurse in exam room. 

“…Let’s see Mary’s bone density?”

Camera cuts to Mary in the waiting room. She appears confident at what the doctor will see on her x-ray (or dexa bone density x-ray)

Back in the exam room, the doctor is clearly surprised at how strong those bones look on the scan. 

NARRATOR:

“Calcium and vitamin D help build strong bones. And prevent falls."

 Doctor to nurse: 

“…Joan, I think this is…Chad’s X-ray??…”

Camera cuts to Chad and then back to the nurse

NURSE’S VOICE:

“…No, that’s Mary’s!”

Doctor's face looks "impressed". Cuts to Mary looking confident and charming. Animated food icons appear on screen (milk, yogurt, cheese for Calcium; Fish, egg yolk, and vitamin D supplement)

NARRATOR: 

“Eat at least 3 servings of calcium rich food. And, take a vitamin D supplement. Every day.”

“For more information, contact Ottawa Public Health.”

[Logo] 

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Video script: Report ALL falls

 Opening shot shows a doctor's exam room. Older patient "Mary" is sitting on the exam table and a doctor is standing facing her.

DOCTOR:

“…So, have you had a fall since your last visit?” 

Mary shakes her head "No"

DOCTOR:

“…including slips and trips?”

 Mary is pensive, then remembers a series of slips and trips, seen in abstract flashback sequence.

Short sequence of 2 slips/trips (1. trip on stairs clutter, 2. bathtub slip)

Dramatic scene/music abruptly ends. 

 DOCTOR:

“Mary?”

MARY’S VOICE:

“Maybe a few…”

Mary's smile at this point, and the examination continues.

NARRATOR:

“Report ALL falls, and discuss ways to prevent them with your Doctor.”

“For more information on falls prevention, contact Ottawa Public Health.” 

Logo

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What Ottawa Public Health can offer for Older Adults

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) carries out individual, group and community-level interventions to engage and support older adults in reducing their falls risks and adopting healthy living practices. OPH efforts in addressing seniors’ issues are enhanced by our relationships with community agencies and other city departments, for example, the Aging in Place Project in Ottawa Community Housing buildings.

Some of OPH’s key activities include:

Better Strength, Better Balance!

Stay active and reduce your risk of falling. Join a Ministry of Health funded exercise program for adults aged 65+.This fall prevention program is delivered by Parks and Recreation & Cultural Services in partnership with OPH. It is offered twice a week for 12 weeks, starting in September, January and April. This is a beginner level class for those wishing to improve strength and balance. Strong muscles, strong bones and better balance will make you more mobile and less likely to fall.

Telephone Advice and Information 

A telephone service for the public to obtain health information and confidential counseling on various topics. To talk with a public health nurse or to find out more about the programs described below, call 613-580-6744 (TTY: 613-580-9656) between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm from Monday to Friday (closed on statutory holidays). 

Community Awareness

Using a multimedia approach including articles in local newspapers, interstitials and messages on social media - information and tips posted on OPH's website, blog, Facebook and Twitter.

Supportive Environments

OPH participates in key regional and citywide coalitions and committees to support the development of programs and policies that help reduce falls risks and improve overall health of older adults in Ottawa.

Community Connect

Ottawa Public Health offers information sessions on how to identify and connect at risk older adults to a network of agencies that can provide information, support, and services.

These sessions sensitize participants or “connectors” of the warning signs and risk factors that can have a negative effect on the life of an older adult.  Participants will receive information about the support services that assist at-risk older adults and how to make referrals to appropriate agencies.

Who can help?

  • Anyone who has regular contact with older adults such as community group members, volunteers and employees of businesses
  • Connectors can be utility workers, home delivery and postal carriers, property managers, bank employees, grocery store staff, hairdressers, community association members and neighbours

For more information or to book your free group session call Ottawa Public Health Monday to Friday from 9 am to 4 pm, 613-580-6744/ TTY: 613-580-9656, Toll free: 1-866-426-8885

Caregiver Support

Most of the care seniors receive comes from family and friends. OPH nurses offer interactive group sessions for caregivers and a free resource guide to local services. They also provide telephone counselling. Find information and services to support you. Also, check out our online caregiver guide. This guide will help if you are a full-time or part-time caregiver and even if you are caring for a person who lives far away. It will give you tips and ideas to help you care for your loved one and yourself.  

For more information on these healthy aging programs call:

613-580-6744
TTY: 613-580-9656
1-866-426-8885

 

It’s never too late to be active

Health Benefits of physical activity
Physical Activity programs and resources for older adults
Winter active, winter smart

Most falls are preventable and being active is one of the best ways to prevent falls. Regular physical activity keeps muscles and bones strong and helps improve balance, gait and coordination. Seniors that participate in regular physical activity have better balance and are less likely to fall. Exercises that involve muscle strengthening, balance and coordination are the most effective in preventing falls.

Health Benefits of physical activity:

The benefits of physical activity for health and wellbeing have been very well researched. The more active you are the more health benefits you enjoy, such as:

  • Improve your balance
  • Reduce falls and injuries
  • Help you stay independent longer
  • Help prevent heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, some cancers and premature death

For more information and some tips to get active: Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines for adults 65 years and older recommend:

  1. To achieve health benefits, and improve functional abilities adults aged 65 years and older should accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate-to vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity per week, in bouts of 10 minutes or more.
  2. It is also beneficial to add muscle and bone strengthening activities using major muscle groups, at least 2 days per week.
  3. Those with poor mobility should perform physical activities to enhance balance and prevent falls

For your own copy of the guide please visit the CSEP website

Which exercise program is best for me?

Physical Activity programs and resources for older adults:

  • The City of Ottawa Older Adult Activity Guide has a vast array of various programs city wide to help you maintain your strength and balance. Check out this page for more information on programming. 
  • The Champlain Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) provides free exercise classes for older adults. 
  • Get Moving: Active Sitting Program is a 30-minute chair exercise DVD program.  
  • The In motion Older Adult Exercise DVD is a great way for older adults to add physical activity to their day - out in the community with a group of friends or exercising on their own at home. (View this program online)
  • The Active Living Coalition for Older Adults has some excellent active living tip sheets in various languages that you can download from the Active Living Coalition for Older Adults website
  • Better Strength, Better Balance!
    A fall prevention group exercise program for adults 65+ in Ottawa. The “Better Strength, Better Balance! / En force, en équilibre!” program will provide participants with instruction by a certified fitness instructor and education on preventing falls by Ottawa Public Health nurses. There is no cost to participate in the program which is offered twice a week for 12 weeks. This is a beginner level class for those wishing to improve strength and balance.
    The program is funded by the Champlain Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) and is a collaborative effort between Ottawa Public Health and Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services. 
    For more information, or to register, please call Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744 or visit ottawa.ca/seniors.

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Winter active, winter smart

Regular physical activity is important for healthy aging. But winter can be a difficult time to go outside and be active.

As the body ages, it has a hard time adjusting to cold weather. Older adults can lose body heat quickly in cold temperatures. And a fall on hard packed snow or ice can have a lasting effect on health and independence.

Here are some practical tips to help older adults stay active and safe in winter!

Prepare for the weather
  • Wear layered clothing and a wind proof outer layer to prevent heat loss. Most body heat is lost through the head, feet and hands, so cover up to reduce the chance of frostbite. With a wind chill of -35 or colder, exposed skin can freeze in as little as 10 minutes!
  • Choose boots that are well insulated and waterproof. A wide low heel and a thick sole with non-slip treads will help prevent falls.
The benefits of being active include:
  • Better balance
  • Stronger muscles
  • Less stress
  • And more energy!
Think safety
  • Wear bright coloured clothing to be more visible on the road.
  • Carry a small bag of grit, sand or non-clumping cat litter in your pocket and sprinkle it on icy sidewalks, steps or bus stops. Fill your bag at City of Ottawa yellow grit boxes.
  • Shovelling snow makes the heart work hard. Pace yourself and push the snow instead of lifting it. Push or lift less snow at a time. Take breaks and STOP if you feel pain or tightness, especially in the arms or chest.
  • Consider help for snow shovelling, a snow clearing company, a local seniors agency, or a neighbour.
  • Call 311 to report problems on City sidewalks or to get information on the Snow Go program.
Consider assistive devices:
  • Think about using ice grippers, canes with ice picks, and hip protectors. Remember that both ice grippers and cane picks need to be removed when indoors as they slip on hard surfaces and catch on carpets.
Be active your way, every day!
  • If being active outside is not an option, consider a home exercise program.
  • Call Ottawa Public Health for information on physical activity, and local mall walking clubs.
  • Check the City of Ottawa Recreation Guide for programs like yoga, tai chi and strength training. The guide is available online at www.ottawa.ca

Print version [813 KB]

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For more information call 613-580-6744 to speak with our public health staff or e-mail us at healthsante@ottawa.ca